The Monastery is abuzz with preparations for our Triduum celebrations!
I awoke early to get ready for the day, but not earlier than our Sister Baker. When I opened my curtain at 7AM to look out on the world, I could see right across the courtyard into the brightly lit bakery. She already had dough on the table and the 'proofing' room filling up with breads special for the feasts: the round loaves of sweet, soft agape bread and the rings of cinnamon laced sweet bread.
After morning prayer, the sisters in charge of environment (candles and cloths) began to take down the purple in the Peace Chapel. Since we will be praying the Upper Chapel (Bishop Marty Chapel) through all of Triduum and through the Easter Octave, the sisters might not set out the new candles and cloths just yet...but we will be preparing the Upper Chapel this afternoon. Holy Thursday's environment needs to include clean space in the sacristy to place all the goods of the Sanctuary after the altar is stripped as well as adding new environment to the smaller St. Joseph Chapel (for our care center sisters) where the reserved Sacrament will be taken tonight. Helping to prepare our Chapel for these sacred celebrations allows me to move from the busyness of my school days to the centering on our celebrations of Christ's passion, death, and resurrection during this Triduum.
This afternoon also includes some community fun. The sisters in our care center dye the Easter eggs for the whole Monastery! Those of us who can join them in this colorful community collaboration have some good old family fun. It is interesting to see which sisters favor which colors and the artists that come out of each one of us. I also love to hear the stories the sisters tell of their childhood memories of Easter egg coloring at home or how they celebrated earlier in community life.
However, I am most excited for...our silence...I know, you're shocked. I really am looking forward to our time of deep quiet and reflection that begins with the transfer of the Sacrament at the end of our Holy Thursday Mass and continues through Good Friday and only comes to an end after Lauds on Holy Saturday. The whole Monastery is focused on this deep awareness of God in our midst. My students and the faculty both seemed a bit surprised at this quiet that I was excited to be joining. One of the Junior boys joked that he didn't think his mom or sister could go a few hours much less a whole day and a half without talking. I told him that he might be surprised at how much those same folk might love a bit of silence in their day...he didn't believe me.